tericared
Pelosi Mum On Rights Before Trip To China
May 24, 2009 at 2:00 PM

BEIJING, May 24 -- For the second time this year, a top U.S. official visiting China has declined in advance to publicly discuss Beijing's human rights record, a shift in practice that comes almost exactly two decades after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who collided with Chinese authorities in 1991 when she unfurled a banner memorializing those who died in the square, arrived here Sunday saying only that she planned to discuss climate change with Chinese officials.

At a briefing in Washington before leaving for her week-long trip, Pelosi declined to say whether she planned to discuss human rights with her hosts. Instead, she said only that she would focus on securing support for a global pact on reducing carbon emissions, in advance of a major international gathering on climate change scheduled for December in Copenhagen.

"We have to . . . learn from each other as we go forward. So that is the subject," she told reporters, ignoring several requests to address human rights issues.

In February, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on her maiden voyage as the top U.S. diplomat, also pointedly played down human rights issues when she traveled to Beijing. Clinton drew criticism from human rights activists by saying that pressing China on that issue "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis." On matters such as greater freedom for Tibetans, she said, "We pretty much know what [Beijing is] going to say.

Clinton generated headlines in 1995 for a speech on human rights in Beijing as first lady, and Pelosi's advance aversion to the topic is equally striking. Although Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Beijing since President Obama took office, she has been a frequent public critic of China, especially after Beijing sent the People's Liberation Army to quell huge pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Hundreds of people were killed, many were arrested or jailed for years, and China's relations with the West were left badly frayed.

The anniversary of the protests is 10 days away, and Beijing is highly sensitive to any commemoration of the event, for which it has never accounted.

Throughout her 22 years in Congress, Pelosi -- whose home district of San Francisco includes a large number of Chinese immigrants and their families -- has championed the cause of human rights in China. Before she became a congressional leader, she cited the Tiananmen massacre as cause for the Clinton administration to link human rights issues to normalizing trade relations with China. But in 1994, President Bill Clinton rejected that argument and delinked from the human rights issue what was then known as the most-favored-nation status. Pelosi protested the decision, to no avail.

In March 2008, Pelosi condemned China's rule of Tibet when violent riots erupted in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and the Chinese government responded by taking into custody monks and others it suspected of having a role. She said "freedom-loving people" should "speak out against China's oppression in Tibet." Pelosi also said the International Olympic Committee made a mistake in awarding the Summer Games to Beijing, because of its human rights record.

During this trip, by contrast, Pelosi and members of the Select Committee on Climate Change and Energy Independence will meet with government officials, business leaders and students. On Tuesday, she is scheduled to give a speech at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China about how China and the United States together account for nearly half the global energy demand and how clean technology can help solve the problem. She will also visit Shanghai.

Pragmatism now seems to be driving the U.S. agenda. The Obama administration has high hopes of winning China's cooperation on reducing harmful greenhouse gases, while close coordination between the two countries on economic issues has become critical amid the ongoing global financial crisis.

China is the biggest foreign holder of U.S. debt, which helped finance the spending binge the United States went on before the economic crisis. Some experts have expressed concern that China's substantial holdings of U.S. debt give it increased leverage in dealings with Washington because any halt in Chinese purchases of U.S. bonds would make it more difficult to finance the government bailout and stimulus packages.

Reflecting Washington's concern, Clinton even publicly urged China during her visit to keep investing its substantial foreign-exchange reserves in U.S. Treasury securities, saying, "We are truly going to rise or fall together." 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/23/AR2009052301876.html?referrer=emailarticle

Replies

  • tericared
    May 24, 2009 at 3:57 PM

    I always wondered why the Us stood by while China commits violent acts against it's people.

    China is the biggest foreign holder of U.S. debt, which helped finance the spending binge the United States went on before the economic crisis. Some experts have expressed concern that China's substantial holdings of U.S. debt give it increased leverage in dealings with Washington because any halt in Chinese purchases of U.S. bonds would make it more difficult to finance the government bailout and stimulus packages.

  • stormcris
    May 24, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    The reason we back down against N. Korea - China

    The reason our stores have little American made products - China

    The reason we have to keep China happy- Our stupidity

    How can we maintain the illusion of the strongest nation in the world when we are in other nations back pockets?


  • lilyrose73
    May 24, 2009 at 4:56 PM


    Quoting stormcris:

    The reason we back down against N. Korea - China

    The reason our stores have little American made products - China

    The reason we have to keep China happy- Our stupidity

    How can we maintain the illusion of the strongest nation in the world when we are in other nations back pockets?


    ... and the fact that they practically own us now because we've borrowed so much money from them.

  • Della529
    May 24, 2009 at 5:09 PM


    Quoting lilyrose73:


    Quoting stormcris:

    The reason we back down against N. Korea - China

    The reason our stores have little American made products - China

    The reason we have to keep China happy- Our stupidity

    How can we maintain the illusion of the strongest nation in the world when we are in other nations back pockets?


    ... and the fact that they practically own us now because we've borrowed so much money from them.

    A simple understanding for those of us who do not understand the history of America's indebtedness to other countries:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt

  • tericared
    May 24, 2009 at 5:28 PM


    Quoting Della529:

     

    Quoting lilyrose73:


    Quoting stormcris:

    The reason we back down against N. Korea - China

    The reason our stores have little American made products - China

    The reason we have to keep China happy- Our stupidity

    How can we maintain the illusion of the strongest nation in the world when we are in other nations back pockets?


    ... and the fact that they practically own us now because we've borrowed so much money from them.

    A simple understanding for those of us who do not understand the history of America's indebtedness to other countries:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt


    Thanks for the link, I had no idea......

  • spoiled_wife
    May 24, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    China owns the US. 

    One thing I've learned in my 40plus years.

    America loves a dictator as long as they are our dictator and we call the shots.. We used to help Saddam out all the time, we provided weapons, said what he did was okay... That changed. Same thing with other dictators from Muammar al-Gaddafi to Manuel Noriega............ we prop them up.. We support them.. Once they are no longer useful or not doing as they are told. They suddenly are no longer in power or are suddenly enemies of the state.

    Same thing with countries like China.  The US doesn't care how bad they violate rights, abuse their citizens or anything else.  As long as they are playing ball the way we want them to, or they keep pumping us resources and/or money......... Look at our trade partners like: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan and other nations..  And tell me the US really cares about human rights violations when it comes to who they will wheel and deal with..

  • Della529
    May 24, 2009 at 5:42 PM


    Quoting tericared:
    Quoting Della529:
    Quoting lilyrose73:
    Quoting stormcris:

    The reason we back down against N. Korea - China

    The reason our stores have little American made products - China

    The reason we have to keep China happy- Our stupidity

    How can we maintain the illusion of the strongest nation in the world when we are in other nations back pockets?


    ... and the fact that they practically own us now because we've borrowed so much money from them.

    A simple understanding for those of us who do not understand the history of America's indebtedness to other countries:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt


    Thanks for the link, I had no idea......

    Most don't, LOL!

  • stormcris
    May 24, 2009 at 5:43 PM

    I was just reading something because with the recents actions of China with Brazil I was wondering how much of American land China owns. I came across this blog which at first looks like a lot of conspiracy theories but after reading it some of it makes me wonder about a few things.

    Anyway here is the site (was going to make another post but it seems to really fit here:


    http://www.rense.com/general85/give.htm

  • Della529
    May 24, 2009 at 5:47 PM


    Quoting spoiled_wife:

    China owns the US. 

    One thing I've learned in my 40plus years.

    America loves a dictator as long as they are our dictator and we call the shots.. We used to help Saddam out all the time, we provided weapons, said what he did was okay... That changed. Same thing with other dictators from Muammar al-Gaddafi to Manuel Noriega............ we prop them up.. We support them.. Once they are no longer useful or not doing as they are told. They suddenly are no longer in power or are suddenly enemies of the state.

    Same thing with countries like China.  The US doesn't care how bad they violate rights, abuse their citizens or anything else.  As long as they are playing ball the way we want them to, or they keep pumping us resources and/or money......... Look at our trade partners like: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan and other nations..  And tell me the US really cares about human rights violations when it comes to who they will wheel and deal with..

    You got it.  We also used to help and work with Iran.  Then....other "things" came it to the mix.

  • spoiled_wife
    May 24, 2009 at 5:51 PM


    Quoting Della529:

     

    Quoting spoiled_wife:

    China owns the US. 

    One thing I've learned in my 40plus years.

    America loves a dictator as long as they are our dictator and we call the shots.. We used to help Saddam out all the time, we provided weapons, said what he did was okay... That changed. Same thing with other dictators from Muammar al-Gaddafi to Manuel Noriega............ we prop them up.. We support them.. Once they are no longer useful or not doing as they are told. They suddenly are no longer in power or are suddenly enemies of the state.

    Same thing with countries like China.  The US doesn't care how bad they violate rights, abuse their citizens or anything else.  As long as they are playing ball the way we want them to, or they keep pumping us resources and/or money......... Look at our trade partners like: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan and other nations..  And tell me the US really cares about human rights violations when it comes to who they will wheel and deal with..

    You got it.  We also used to help and work with Iran.  Then....other "things" came it to the mix.

    LOL

    Remember when:

    We were helping out Iran and Iraq to fight one another. We provided both with weapons.

    And doing it by working with the rebels in Nicaragua to pay for it.........

    Iran Contra anyone..

    Oh hey .. How about those weapons of mass destruction, which Saddam used against the Kurds.......... Anyone remember where he got those........ That's right ... THE USA..... And we used that as one of the reasons to convict him and hang him....

    Oh America.. Her government can be a fickle fickle thing.